ModNation Racers Review
PS3 | PSP
ModNation Racers box art
System: PS3, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: SCE San Diego 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SONY 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: May 25, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1(12 Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The racing isn't all bad, though. It's fast-paced, which leads to a lot of exciting moments, and the tracks are interesting with oodles of obstacles and ramps to spice up each race. The ramps are particularly fun, as MNR employs a light trick system that awards you points for doing simple tricks like spins in mid-air.

ModNation Racers screenshot

Visually, the game is really good looking. The cartoony art style runs throughout the game, but it works so well (especially considering this is an arcade racer) that it's hard to even notice. For the most part, this is another department in which the PSP version is a scaled-down replica of its big brother on the console. They've managed to keep a large amount of the visual style's soul intact, and while it doesn't stack up against the best the PSP has to offer (by design), it's still quite good.

Ultimately, ModNation's greatest achievement is that is blends its creation modes into the campaign mode. So, you're not just racing all the time, you're also eased into the creation process. Many people shy away from large, intimidating level creators due to the harsh learning curve. However, ModNation takes it slow and introduces things to you at a casual pace. The best thing this game accomplishes is that it invokes your creative side even if you didn't know you had it.

If they had just included the level/character/kart creator as a bonus, the majority of players would never touch it. In this case, though, players are given a steady introduction that may very well prove that some players have a great interest in level/game creation. It's a great system. I can't help but wonder if we'll look back 30 years from now and see how ModNation Racers and its spiritual cousin, LittleBigPlanet, birthed an entire generation of game designers.

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Despite some weaknesses in the driving sections - which you would think would be a deal-breaker for a racing game - the overall package is still very much worth it. There may be a bit of precision missing in the controls, but that is greatly alleviated when you're cruising along a beautifully realized vision of your own creation. Even if there was no racing at all, this would still be a game worthy of your dollar. The level creator is a giant leap forward for community created content, and I greatly hope that Sony continues with this philosophy of game design.

By Andrew Groen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.1
Graphics
ModNation doesn't aim for the stars with graphical quality, but it's cute and the look fits with an arcade racer.
3.0
Control
The PSP is pretty well suited for racing controls, but we never felt fully in control of our kart. Drifting is pretty tough to pull off.
3.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Good voice work and an energetic soundtrack keeps things interesting.
4.4
Play Value
At $30, there is a ton of great content available in this version. It's such a good value that we have to question whether or not this is even better than the PS3 version. With the full level-creator experience and a racing campaign on top of that, this is a great package for your money.
4.3
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Full single-player storyline with over 25 outrageous tracks.
  • Explosive weaponry and power-ups.
  • Online and offline multiplayer mode competition.
  • Design your own track, character, and kart.
  • Share all of your creations with the community.


  • Screenshots / Images
    ModNation Racers screenshot - click to enlarge ModNation Racers screenshot - click to enlarge ModNation Racers screenshot - click to enlarge ModNation Racers screenshot - click to enlarge

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